This excellent piece by Frankie Boyle sets out the stark reality of EU immigration policy. We are not prepared to deal with the consequences of our own political, economic and military actions. At best we tinker around the edges with our aid budgets without once getting to the actual root of the issues the world has with poverty, disease and conflict. Lets start with one basic fact.
Its our fault
We have over centuries laid the foundations for pretty much all of the suffering we see in the world today. Even the horror that is Daesh has its roots in the failure of Western policy in the Islamic world over the whole of the last 150 years and our guilt goes much, much further than that. Consider a few facts.
For hundreds of years the west stole the people of Africa as slaves. The Southern States of the U.S. initiated a bitter civil war to retain slavery. Much of Britain’s imperial power was built on the profits of the slave trade. We are still fighting slavery across the globe.
In the post slavery scramble for Africa the Western nations carved most of the continent up between themselves creating nations which ignored tribal boundaries and introducing European political systems which simply do not deliver in Africa.
The West then systematically robbed Africa of its wealth in gold, minerals and diamonds and so on setting up systemic exploitation of African workers and widespread systems of corruption. Even today the washing powder we use depends on the extraction of African mineral wealth.
In the so called post colonial era western business has continued to extract wealth from Africa putting almost nothing back, continuing to exploit workers and continuing patterns of corruption that have tainted African politics and business to the core.
The West has also filled Africa with arms, readily supplying both sides of any conflict. (And I do not discount the role played by the former Soviet States and China)
We do almost nothing as nations to break the cycle of disease, famine, poverty and conflict in Africa despite the efforts of many thousands of charities.
Our practices in Asia have been no different. For years India was ruled not by a colonial power but by a British business, the East India Company, which extracted Indian wealth whilst forcing British products onto the Indian market. When Britain finally left India it did so in a way which led directly to the deaths of probably millions of people in the partition of India and Pakistan.
In the Middle East over the years since the beginning of the 20th century British foreign policy was initially directed towards the establishment of a Jewish nation state. Promises made to the Arabs during the Arab revolt of the First World War were broken or ignored and the Middle East was carved up into quasi colonial spheres of influence again creating national boundaries where none existed. Later, after oil became king the west again supported corrupt regimes in order to keep feeding our thirst for fossil fuels. In the current crisis the West rightly decries the savagery of Daesh and its associates but has for years ignored the fact that Saudi Arabia has regularly publicly beheaded so called criminals. There are currently Saudi prisoners facing severe judicial beatings for daring to dissent. We are keeping those people in power.
Our policies in the Far East have been no better. British trade with China was dominated by the state sponsored export of Indian opium to China against the express will and law of China. We fought three wars against China to protect that trade and, incidentally, laid the foundation of our current problems with Class A drugs.
To put this in summary, historically when we have engaged with countries weaker than ourselves we have exported our version of civilisation largely so that we could steal their wealth. In modern times instead of bringing peace we have created war and have profited by selling the instruments of war. We have, over centuries, given many countries in the south and the east more than enough reason to hate us and we continue to do so.
Our only way out now is to turn round completely. Instead of decreasing aid budgets to increase them. To intervene to bring and end to corruption. To stop selling arms and in our military operations to remove them. To use our military strength to bring conflicts to a halt rather than tinker in the wholly ineffectual UN peacekeeping roles. Where we do so to work to establish credible governments and to stick around long enough to ensure that those governments work, To bring basics like clean water, fertile ground, healthcare, education and shelter to every part of the world that lacks it. We know the West wastes more food than we would need to feed the hungry of the world.
Some say that I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. QI hope some day you’ll join us and the world will be as one. Or to put it another way
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthews gospel, chapter 25.